So, I guess I’m a pretty big fan of Dracula. He’s a blood-sucking nightmare of a vampire with a charming demeanour and a dark, unsavoury sense of humour… what’s not to love? However, no matter how many Dracula adaptions we get – and we get a lot – there never seems to be a really loveable characterisation. I mean sure, we’ve had some great Dracula adaptions. Christopher Lee’s Dracula will always be in our hearts and Gary Oldman certainly did a brilliant job but, when it comes to capturing the essence of the Dracula lore itself, something always seems a bit off. From your romantic, overly-sensual historic lord to your hilariously cliched evil villain, Dracula has had a pretty rough time lately.
So, when Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat announced their 2020 Dracula adaption, I was instantly intrigued. With a reputation for brilliant characterisation and witty dialogue, the writing and directing duo were bound to throw Dracula back on the map, right?
BBC’s Dracula starts us off in the Victorian age, introducing us to the reputable Mr Jonathan Harker (John Heffernan), a lawyer interested in the residence that is home to the Count himself (Claes Bang). Of course, to poor Mr Harker’s discovery, Count Dracula isn’t quite the man he appears to be. But Dracula certainly isn’t without his adversaries. Facing off against the witty and exceedingly determined Nun Agatha (Dolly Wells), it soon becomes a terrifying cat and mouse game for the ages. https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-50972189
Claes Bang oozes with charisma as the title character Count Dracula from the very moment he shows up on screen. He embodies the exact kind of monster horror-fans have all been waiting for – a truly frightening and yet somehow lovable mix between elegance and complete animalistic cruelty. With all his quirks, quips and horrifyingly hilarious puns, Claes Bang plays probably the best version of Dracula we’ve seen to date.
Full of action, gore and wit, Dracula was everything I expected to see from a Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffit adaption of Bram Stoker’s classic. With stunning cinematography, Dracula’s castle comes to life in a new dark, gritty style, adding a true dread to this ninety-minute horror. Although there’s definitely room for improvement when it comes to special effects, it’s never unbelievable enough to take away from the story and manages to make the episode just that little bit more unsettling.
And unsettling is certainly a great way to describe this episode. As Johnathon Harker delves deeper and deeper into this sensational castle, he begins to unravel a chain of terrifying secrets that are bound to, quite literally, change his life forever. With vividly gruesome twists around each corner and a brilliant use of psychological dialog, Dracula constantly leaves you on the edge of your seat, just waiting for the next reveal.
Overall, I had a lot of fun with this episode. With a brilliant cast, fantastic direction and witty writing, BBC’s Dracula manages to be one of the best horror shows on TV.
Check out BBC’s Dracula on Netflix Now!